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Child's nursery taking incorrect payments

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by ThereAreBunniesInMyHead, May 3, 2019.

  1. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    Gah I'm so annoyed. My 3 year old's nursery is amazing and the staff are lovely and she has been there since she was 4 months old (her older sister went there too.).

    But their head office that do the finance / invoices are useless. The invoices are always wrong. They put the wrong days on, or they don't calculate it properly. Or they forget to apply my childcare voucher. When the invoices get sent through I constantly have to enter into an email thread with their head office to get them corrected or to clarify what's wrong, or get a refund etc. Sometimes they take the right amount out of my husband's account, sometimes they take nothing, sometimes they take the wrong amount. Its a nightmare.

    I work really hard to ensure that we have paid the correct amount, and that we aren't owing anything, but if we do owe anything, its always down to their errors, not ours. All our invoices for the last 12 months have shown that we don't owe anything. I got a random invoice this month that showed that we suddenly and unexplainably owe £240 odd pounds. I emailed to question it and was told in writing it was a mistake, and they sent me a corrected invoice showing we owed nothing.

    Then a week later, when they took payment from my husband's account, they took the extra £240 as well so we are now short of money. I emailed them to question it and was told that it WAS right, and that they had worked out that sometime over a YEAR ago, they had messed up an invoice / payment, and not taken enough money from us that month, and that we HAD been £240 odd pound in debt to them this whole time and now they were collecting on it. I was outraged.

    I have escalated a complaint to the manager of the head office saying that we have had 12 months of incorrect invoices and payments so it is virtually impossible for us to see what has and hasn't been taken and how this relates to what should have gone out. I am especially angry because of how many times they have confirmed in previous invoices, and in written emails that we are NOT in debt, and all of a sudden admitting that we are in debt.

    A manager responded to my complaint basically saying they were sorry for the problems but it had to be paid.

    Am I right to be really angry? Is there anything I can do that doesn't involve me pulling my child out of what is otherwise a really good nursery that she and we love?
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Can you refuse to pay by direct debit, which would at least mean they can't take money from your account until you've checked the bill? I refused to do direct debit for council tax for years after they had made multiple errors. They didn't like it, but they did grudgingly agree with my reasons.

    I rather think that there should be a banking rule that says that if an organisation makes more than a certain percentage of refunds to direct debits they have taken, they should not be allowed to use direct debit any more.

    Are you convinced that you do owe the £240, even if it means going back a year to find the details?
    If you're still not sure, you probably need to request a full history of your account with them.
    If you think they are now correct, I think probably your response to the manager should be that you understand that it needs to be paid, but in view of you being told you did not owe it, you would appreciate them allowing that to be in instalments.
  3. parseltongue

    parseltongue New commenter

    Ask for a copy of every hour/day used vs every payment you've made since your child started there. Explain that if they cannot provide this then they are acting illegally by taking money from the account, especially if you have an email from them confirming nothing was owed. Also mention contacting Ofsted if the issue is not resolved quickly.
    Good luck.

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